A new national initiative to upskill secondary school maths teachers in Ireland has been announced today by the Department of Education & Skills.
Up to 400 places will be open for maths teachers to start a free upskilling course at various locations around the country, starting in the autumn. The Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today announced the funding for the part-time professional diploma in mathematics for teaching.
The Government has given €2m to fund the national programme for upskilling out-of-field teachers of maths over the next three years. The National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL), which is based at the University of Limerick (UL), will be responsible for devising the curriculum for the diploma, which will be jointly accredited by UL and NUI Galway. In 2010, a NCE-MSTL report found that 48pc of maths teachers teaching at post-primary level had no qualification in maths teaching.
NCE-MSTL's director, Prof John O'Donoghue, described the new diploma as being a "historic step" in Ireland's moves to reform post-primary maths. "Ireland's urgent need to raise science and mathematics knowledge and skills in order to serve critical national educational, economic and entrepreneurial needs is well documented," he said. O'Donoghue said the programme would zero in on helping teachers focus on subject knowledge and practice to stimulate students' interest in maths and science.
Programme delivery The NCE-MSTL is leading a consortium of higher education institutions that will deliver the programme so teachers can head to a set of locations around the country. These locations will include NUI Galway, University College Dublin, St Patrick's College, Thurles and the institutes of technology in Sligo, Tallaght, Carlow, Cork, Dundalk, Letterkenny and Waterford. Sherlock said the course would facilitate teachers who are working during the day, with local and online access.
The programme will be offered free to eligible teachers starting in September.
The Department of Education & Skills said applications are being accepted from 30 May.
Carmel Doyle, Silicon Republic, 25/5/2012